principle

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principle

1. a rule or law concerning a natural phenomenon or the behaviour of a system
2. Chem a constituent of a substance that gives the substance its characteristics and behaviour
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Principle

 

the basic initial assumption of any theory, teaching, science, world view, or political organization; an individual’s internal conviction, which determines his relationship to reality, behavioral norms, and activity; the basic characteristic of the structure of any mechanism or apparatus.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

principle

[′prin·sə·pəl]
(science and technology)
A scientific law which is highly general or fundamental, and from which other laws are derived.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.